Bananas and plantains are a major staple food crop for hundreds of millions of people in the developing world. They belong to monocotyledonous plants in the genus Musa in the order of Zingiberales, a sister group to the well-studied Poales, which include cereals. Banana cultivars originates from é wild species, M. acuminata (A genome) and Musa balbisiana (B genome).

As most of the cultivated bananas are sterile, traditional breeding is challenging. Effective plant breeding requires knowledge of Musa genome evolution and structure, complemented with functional genomics, allowing bioinformatics and gene discovery.

Genome sequencing

The publication in the journal Nature of the sequence of one of the founding genomes of the banana, a subspecies of Musa acuminata, represents a major achievement for CIRAD and Genoscope, who led the sequencing project funded by the French government. It also opens up a new era for Musa scientists interested in harnessing the power of genomics to secure the future of this important crop.

Links between South Green and Banana

The South Green Bioinformatics platform supported the analyses of the DH-Pahang sequence. The platform hosts a dedicated crop portal, the Banana Genome Hub, which centralizes most of the resources and information systems around the banana genome such as TropGeneDB, GNPannot, GreenPhyl, ESTTik and SNiPlay. The hub gives access to chromosomes, genes, trancripts, proteins, genetic markers, genetic maps produced over the time.